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Dalton Legal Issues Blog

Understanding intestate succession

There may be many in Dalton who think that there will be plenty of time later in their lives to see to their estate planning. Yet such thinking leads to many entering into their golden years without even having a will. Research information shared by Forbes Magazine shows that over half of Americans over the age of 55 do not have a will. If any amongst this group were to die unexpectedly, the obvious that would arise from amongst their potential beneficiaries would be who among them is entitled to inherit their estates. 

The legal term assigned to one who dies without a will is "intestate." States create their own guidelines detailing who intestate estates are to be distributed. Georgia's can be found in Section 53-2-1 of the state's detailing Wills, Trusts, and Administration of Estates. Here, it states that one's intestate estate shall be divided equally amongst their surviving spouse and their children (with the descendants of one's child who has preceded them in death inheriting that child's share). In this scenario, the portion of the estate going to the surviving spouse shall never be less than one-third of its overall value. In the event one leaves behind no lineal descendant's, their spouse is their sole heir. 

Unlicensed teen collides with truck, driver died

People in Georgia who are involved in a motor vehicle accident personally or who have family members that have been injured or killed in crashes should at a minimum be able to trust that there will be a way to be compensated for any losses or injuries they experience. If the other driver is found to be at fault, that may often involve the insurance company for that driver. However, things can get very complicated if an insurance company is not involved.

Most automobile insurance policies can provide coverage for the named drivers as well as other licensed drivers who may operate the vehicle. It is not clear whether or not a vehicle insurance provider would provide protection if the vehicle was operated by a driver who did not have a valid license. This is one of the many questions likely to be investigated after a fatal crash involving an unlicensed teenage driver.

These motorcyclist fatality statistics may surprise you

Motorcycle crashes happen often, and they're typically a result of errors made by other drivers. In many cases, a driver will fail to see a motorcyclist pulling out in front of them and giving them no time to stop.

Other times, the motorcyclist may be in lane but have another driver try to merge into the same position. This can force the motorcyclist off the road or cause a direct collision.

Impairment suspected in high-speed Georgia crash

A witness describes a sports car passing him on Ocean Boulevard on St. Simons Island, Georgia, at a rate of speed approximately three to four times the limit. He describes himself as lucky to have escaped injury when the vehicle missed him by about a foot as he stood on the sidewalk.

Continuing his walk early Saturday evening, the pedestrian recognized the same vehicle after a collision with a minivan. The sports car's driver and a passenger, both women, are dead as a result of the crash, and two occupants of the minivan are in the hospital in critical condition. The accident occurred near St. Simons Elementary School in an area where the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour. The witness claims that the sports car passed him at a speed of about 70 to 80 miles per hour.

Are you qualified to adopt?

As a Georgian resident who is ready to add a new member to your family, you may be wondering how to start the process of adoption. Each state has its own unique laws regarding adoption, along with requirements you must fulfill in order to be considered qualified as a potential adopting parent.

American Adoptions takes a look at Georgia's adoption laws, which dictates what requirements Georgian residents will need to hit in order to be eligible to adopt. In Georgia, adopting parents need to be 25 years or older. If you aren't that old, you can still adopt if you are married and living with your spouse. You also need to be at least 10 years older than the child you intend to adopt.

How badly can a knee injury affect you?

As a Georgian resident who has suffered an injury to the knee, you will quickly learn just how much of an impact it could potentially have on your entire quality of life. We at McCamy, Phillips, Tuggle & Fordham, LLP, are dedicated to illustrating the lesser-known problems associated with moderate to severe knee injuries. 

When discussing serious and crippling injuries, many people will first think about spinal damage or head damage. However, knee injuries can also be quite impactful. They are sometimes overlooked, but they can cause enough damage to hamper your ability to live independently in some cases.

What are the signs of repetitive stress injuries?

Georgian workers all risk injury on the job, regardless of how dangerous their line of work supposedly is. We at McCamy Law Firm will help explain the potential signs of repetitive stress injury, which can be debilitating in its own right.

Repetitive stress injuries (RSI) can happen anywhere on the body. They're caused by an overuse of one area over an extended period of time. The hands and arms are particularly susceptible. Issues like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are a result of RSIs. 

How does estate planning help my philanthropic goals?

Many people in Georgia have philanthropic goals they try to fulfill during the course of their lives. Fortunately, estate planning allows you to continue your passion of giving to your favorite cause even after you pass away. Through the use of a will or other means, you can specify which of your assets should be passed to a charity, a foundation or other organization.

After you have selected which charity or foundation to give to, your next step is to figure out what you want to donate to that organization. Per Forbes, while many people donate large amounts of cash to charities, some donate other assets like securities. There are also individuals who pass along physical objects such as artwork, while others choose to donate a piece of real estate.

After a crash, those responsible should have to pay

Crash injuries have the potential to leave a lasting impression. You may suffer from a new disability as a result of a collision or be struggling with disfiguring wounds.

No matter what kinds of injuries you have suffered, it's important that you're given the opportunity to seek compensation. There is no reason that another person should be able to harm you without having to be responsible for those wounds, your expenses and other losses.

What is a civil lawsuit?

As any Georgia resident can attest, the legal system can be confusing to those without experience in the law. Whether you are being sued, are suffering after an accident or have been charged with a crime, you are likely to wonder what comes next. You may have heard the term “civil litigation” but you do not know what exactly it entails.

As FindLaw explains, civil litigation differs from criminal law, but civil law can take many different directions. Generally, civil law involves any legal action pertaining to financial, property or personal damages, as well as family law, business litigation and appeals. For example, you may go to a civil court for the following situations:

  • A business is taking legal action against you for a debt.
  • You are looking to modify child custody or child support.
  • You are seeking compensation for serious injuries after a car accident.
  • Someone crashed into your fence and you are seeking financial damages.
  • You are filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased loved one.
  • You are preparing to write your will or to protect the financial interests of your aging parents.
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